HAMPTON, Va. – In a unanimous decision Thursday, the City of Hampton’s Planning Commission approved to change the city’s zoning ordinance to allow for the production of cannabis oil in one of six zoning districts in the city.
The vote came after the commission agreed to add the definition of “pharmaceutical processor” to the ordinance and came on the recommendation of city staff.
Earlier this year, state law was changed to create five districts in the Commonwealth where marijuana could be grown inside, processed and dispensed to local medical patients with a prescription.
City council members identified Hampton as a possible location in a June meeting, and locally-based startup company Rx Native Pharmaceuticals hopes to open up a dispensary to create jobs in the area. A spokesperson for the company spoke at Thursday’s meeting in favor of the zoning changes.
“It has always been Rx Native’s goal to be first to market in Virginia, and actions by the city of Hampton Planning Commission last night have put us one step closer to that goal,” said Joe Scarcello, CFO of Rx Native. “It is our hope if we are awarded a license that Rx Native will invest $8 million into the Hampton community and create over 100 jobs within the first year of operation, giving preference to veterans and minorities in the Hampton Roads region. We are so pleased to see Hampton take the lead as the medical cannabis industry prepares to startup in Virginia and we thank the Zoning Commission for their forward-thinking vote.”
The vote still has to be approved by the Hampton City Council.